Arizona Baseball Notes
May 26, 2004
Up Next: at USC
National Rankings: None
Times: Fri. - 7 pm, Sat. - 2 pm, Sun. - 12 pm
Site: Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: KNST 790 AM - Brian Jefferies on P-B-P
Live Stats: www.arizonaathletics.com (Baseball Schedule Page)
First Meeting: 1921 - Last Meeting: 2003
Series Record: USC leads the all-time series 102-88-1
Current Streak: Arizona has won two straight games dating back to last season.
Friday: TBA vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-2, 2.73 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Kevin Guyette (6-6, 6.89 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday: RHP John Meloan (7-0, 4.88 ERA) vs. TBA
A Look at USC
The Trojans enter the weekend 23-30 overall and one spot behind Arizona in the Pac-10 standings in sixth at 9-12 ... USC dropped a two of three from Stanford in Palo Alto last weekend ... The Trojans have played one of the most difficult schedules in the nation, having scheduled 22 of its 56 games this season against teams that played in last year's NCAA Tournament ... Led by sophomore Bill Hart, the Trojans have a team .289 batting average and are averaging 6.1 runs and 9.8 hits per game this season ... Hart paces the USC effort at the plate with a .366 batting average ... Sophomore classmate Jeff Clement, the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has a team-high 10 home runs and 36 RBI this season ... On the mound USC has a 5.54 team ERA with Pac-10-leading 441 strikeouts in 466 2/3 innings pitched ... Freshman Ian Kennedy is USC's top hurler and is scheduled to start the series opener on Friday. The Trojan right-hander is 7-2 this season with a Pac-10 leading 2.73 ERA ... He has struck out 113 batters in only 85 2/3 innings.
Arizona - USC Statistical Comparison Arizona Pac-10 Rank USC Pac-10 RankHittingAverage .311 3rd .288 8thRuns 371 5th 322 9thRuns Per Game 7.1 - 6.1 -Hits 565 4th 521 8thHits Per Game 10.9 - 9.8 -RBI 336 5th 285 9thRBI Per Game 6.5 - 5.4 -2Bs 93 6th 102 3rd3Bs 29 1st 9 7thHRs 47 6th 41 8thSBs 66 1st 42 8thPitchingW-L 28-23 23-30Saves 10 8th 12 t5thERA 5.30 7th 5.54 8thIP 460.0 7th 466.2 6thStrikeouts 363 8th 441 1stWalks 217 4th 224 6th
The Wildcats are still alive for a second straight trip to the postseason. By past indications, a Wildcat sweep this weekend will put them in the field of 64 teams at 31-23-1 overall and 13-11 in the Pac-10, as no Pac-10 team with a winning conference record has ever been excluded from the postseason. Anything less than a sweep will put the Wildcats' NCAA hopes in the hands of the selection committee. Should the Wildcats win a pair against USC to finish 30-24-1 and 12-12 in the conference, they'll have a strong argument to be included in the postseason field with a number of quality wins over top 10 ranked teams, a very impressive strength of schedule and a solid RPI.
It's Been A While
Should Arizona be invited to the NCAA postseason this year it would mark the first time since 1992 and 1993 that UA will have extended its season in back-to-back years.
Regular Season Finale
The Wildcats will wrap up their 2004 regular season campaign this weekend in Los Angeles. The three-game series will mark the third straight year Arizona has finished the regular season on the road (at Washington - 2002, at Arizona State - 2003). The Wildcats will need a sweep of the Trojans to match last season's conference win total of 13.
Last Week Recap
The Wildcats dropped two of three from rival Arizona State in Tucson ... Arizona fell 8-3 in the opener on Friday and 7-2 on Saturday before finally snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Sun Devils with a 13-7, 8-inning game on Sunday ... Arizona managed only a .250 batting average in the series with just one extra base hit while leaving 32 runners on base ... Richard Mercado led all players individually with a .556 batting average (5 for 9) and four RBI. In Saturday's loss, Mercado recorded three of Arizona's four hits in the game ... Sophomore Trevor Crowe went 5 for 11 (.455) with four runs scored and four stolen bases in the series ... His four stolen bases over the weekend improved his career tally against the Sun Devils to a perfect 8 for 8 ... On the mound UA posted a 1-2 record with a 7.27 team ERA ... Kevin Guyette bounced back after a couple of rough outings on Saturday, but was still charged with the loss despite keeping the Wildcat offense in the game over seven innings ... Sophomore John Meloan continued his winning ways to improve to 7-0 on the year after stopping ASU's winning streak with a solid 6 1/3 innings on Sunday. The right-hander battled through a stomach illness for the second time this season to limit A-State to just three runs on 12 hits. The win on Sunday was the second Pac-10 series sweep Meloan has staved off this season (UCLA 4/10).
Heading into the season, Arizona's offense was thought to be the main driving force that would make the Wildcats go. A number of slow starts by key individuals and a propensity for leaving runners on base and, more importantly, in scoring position caused the Wildcats to be somewhat inconsistent with the bats. The last four series has changed all that. Since UA's three-game trip to Cal on April 30-May 2 the Wildcats have hit .325 as a team in nine games and are averaging 9.3 runs (112 total), 11.5 hits (138), 2.1 doubles (25), 1.7 home runs (17) and 8.8 RBI (88) per game. A total of seven players are batting .300 or better during the nine game stretch, six have scored 10 or more runs and five have posted double digit RBI.
The Last 12 Games vs. The First 40 Last 12 First 40Avg. .325 .307Runs 112 (9.3) 259 (6.5)Hits 138 (11.5) 427(10.7)2Bs 25 (2.1) 68 (1.7)3Bs 4 (0.3) 25 (0.6)HRs 17 (1.4) 30 (0.8)RBI 106 (8.8) 230 (5.8)
Numbers in () are per game averages
With only Pac-10 Conference games remaining, the Wildcats wrapped up their nonconference slate with an 18-12-1 record (.597) in non-Pac-10 action ... UA has played seven schools ranked in the top 25 at the time of the game/series and has gone 7-10 against them ... Arizona is 15-2 when scoring 10 or more runs in game ... The Wildcats are averaging 9.4 runs per game in their wins and just 4.3 in their losses ... The average margin of victory for Arizona this season is 4.4 runs, the average margin of defeat is 3.2 ... The Wildcats have won more one-run games through 52 contests this season, seven, then it did in all 57 games last year, three ... Arizona has posted double-digit hits in 33 of its 52 games and has gone 22-10-1 when doing so ...UA's 10 saves this season have already passed the season total of seven in all 57 games last year.
The Wildcats are averaging 7.1 runs, 10.8 hits, 4.4 walks and 1.8 doubles per game this season ... Junior Richard Mercado leads the team in average at .343 ... Sophomore Jordan Brown is the team leader in both home runs (8) and RBI (49) ... Freshman Jason Donald has scored a team-high 50 runs this season ... Donald has the longest current hitting streak at seven straight games ... Mercado holds the longest non-active hitting streak of the season of 10 consecutive games.
Overall Non Conf. Pac-10Games 52 31 21Avg. .311 .305 .320Runs 371 (7.1) 210 (6.8) 161 (7.7)Hits 565 (10.8) 329 (10.6) 236 (11.2)2Bs 93 (1.8) 50 (1.6) 43 (2.0)3Bs 29 (0.6) 20 (0.6) 9 (0.4)HRs 47 (0.9) 28 (0.9) 19 (0.9)RBI 336 (6.5) 192 (6.2) 144 (6.9)
Numbers in ( ) are per game averages
Sophomore Trevor Crowe has put together an impressive season to follow up his Freshman All-America year from 2003. The second-year starter is currently second on the team in batting average (.333), tied for second in runs scored (41) and first in triples (6). He has a team-leading 20 stolen bases this season and has been caught only once. Over the last seven games, Crowe is batting .481 (13 for 27) with 13 RBI, 12 runs scored, three doubles, two triples, a home run and four stolen bases.
Donald Bounces Back
Freshman shortstop Jason Donald has certainly carried more than his fair share of the offensive load for the Wildcats this season, However, after leading the team in home runs, RBI and runs scored through the first 14 games of the year, a midseason slump from March 13-April 14 saw him hit just .206 (14 for 68) to drop him to a season-low average of .290. Since then though, the first-year Wildcat has bounced back nicely over the last 18 games to lead the team with a .394 average (28 for 71) with six doubles, 10 RBI and 20 runs scored. The latest hot streak has improved his overall batting average from .290 to .324 for the year.
In The Nick Of Time
Sophomore Nick Hundley has rebounded from a rough first half of the season. After batting just .211 in his first 14 games this year, the second-year starter has gone 25 for 62 (.403) over his last 18 games to improve his season average 119 points (from .211 to its current .330). During the 18-game hot streak Hundley has driven in 14 runs, hit six doubles and a triple and has scored 16 times.
Merc and The Pac-10
It appears that junior Richard Mercado has taken a liking to Pac-10 pitching. The Wildcat backstop has feasted on conference arms to the tune of a team-high .412 average, four of his five doubles this season, all three of his home runs and 15 of his 22 RBI.
Richard Mercado - Pac-10 vs. NonconferenceStat Season Pac-10 NonconferenceAvg. .343 .412 .280Runs 25 15 (60%) 10 (40%)Hits 49 28 (57%) 21 (43%)2Bs 5 4 (80%) 1 (20%)HRs 3 3 (100%) 0 (0%)RBI 22 15 (68%) 7 (32%)On Base % .443 .500 .389Slugging % .469 .603 .347
Numbers in () denote the percentage of his season totals
Oh So Close
Of the 23 games Arizona has lost this season, 13 have been by two or fewer runs. The Wildcats are 7-6 overall in one-run games and are 2-7 in two-run games.
Arizona's Loss Total by Runs1 run 6 Losses2 runs 7 Losses3 runs 0 Losses4 runs 4 Losses5 runs 3 Losses6 runs 1 Loss7 runs 0 Losses8 runs 2 Losses
The Wildcats appear to have found their power stroke. Over the course of the last 12 games Arizona is averaging over a home run per contest (17 HR for a 1.4/per game average). Individually, sophomore Jordan Brown (5 HR), senior Moises Duran (3 HR), juniors Jeff Van Houten (2 HR) and John Hardy ( 2 HR) and freshman Bill Rhinehart (2 HR) have accounted for 14 of the 17 fence busters.
Mo Muscles Up
It took a while, but senior Moises Duran finally broke into UA's top 10 list for career home runs. The four-year starter came into the season needing just three home runs to break into the exclusive group with 28. He started the year quickly, winning the series opener against UC Riverside with a walk-off solo homer and hitting his second HR of the year in UA's sixth game, but cooled off considerably through the middle part of the year. In fact, it was another 38 games before he finally hit the 28th home run in his career. Part of a five home run barrage at UCLA on May 8th, Duran hit a solo home run in the sixth to join Arizona's all-time power hitters. To prove that it was no fluke he hit two more a day later against the Bruins to vault all the way into a tie for sixth with former Wildcat Robert Woodside with 30.
Arizona's All-Time Home Run LeadersRank Player Years HRs1. Shelley Duncan 1999-2001 552. Kenny Corley 1995-98 363. David Shermet 1985-88 344. Les Pearsey 1975-78 335. Todd Trafton 1983-86 316. Robert Woodside 1975-78 30 Moises Duran 2001-04 30
They're Not Cal Ripken, but....
Freshman Jason Donald is the lone Wildcat to start all 52 games this season. The first-year infielder, who has made 48 starts at shortstop and four at third base, has not missed a play in any of Arizona's contests this year. Junior John Hardy has also played in all 52 games, including 46 straight starts, but entered the Feb. 15 game against Cal State Fullerton as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement for his lone non-start appearance of the season.. Hardy currently has the longest streak of consecutive games played at 107 straight. The last time he did not appear in a game was on Feb. 1, 2003 against BYU.
The Kindall Field Comeback
A bases-loaded walk by Stanford closer David O'Hagan to John Hardy in the bottom of the ninth inning capped off what, thus far, has been the biggest come-from-behind win for Arizona under current head coach Andy Lopez. All totaled, the two schools combined for 37 runs, 42 hits, eight home runs, 10 doubles and two triples over four hours and 11 minutes, but it was the eye of Hardy that scored the game-winning run. Trailing 15-12 after eight innings, the potent Cardinal offense rose up to retake the lead with six runs on four hits (including a solo home run and a grand slam) to all but put the game away in the top of the ninth at 18-15. The Arizona offense, however, had other ideas. Having already rallied to overcome a three-run deficit earlier in the game and numerous Stanford attempts to regain the advantage, Moises Duran got things started on an improbable comeback with a leadoff double down the right field line off of O'Hagan (5-0 for the year with six saves). Bill Rhinehart was hit by a pitch in the next at bat and Jason Donald followed with a single to center field to load the bases for Richard Mercado. The junior catcher, who entered the at bat 0 for 2 with a pair of walks in the game, drilled O'Hagan's 1-0 offering down the left field line and to the wall for a base-clearing, game-tying three-run double. After speedy pinch runner Terrence Taylor replaced Mercado at second, O'Hagan intentionally walked Chris Frey and gave up a bunt single to Derek Decater to re-load the bases for Hardy. The third-year starter, who had gone 0 for 4 with four strikeouts the night before, battled the Cardinal closer to a full count before taking an ever-so-close pitch for ball four to force Taylor in from third with the winning run. The final ninth inning tally for the Wildcats - seven batters, seven base runners, zero outs, two doubles, two singles, one intentional walk, one hit by pitch and one bases-loaded, game-winning John Hardy walk.
Trevor Crowe - May 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore Trevor Crowe was named the May 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week after torching the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal pitching staff for a .583 average (7 for 12) with three doubles, two triples, a home run, nine RBI and seven runs scored in three games. Six of Crowe's seven his against the Cardinal went for extra bases as he finished the series with a very impressive 1.417 slugging percentage. In Sunday's come-from-behind win, Crowe went 4 for 4 with two doubles, two triples, a school Pac-10 record tying five runs scored and three RBI. His run and RBI total accounted for 42 percent of UA's 19 runs in the game.
Jordan Brown - May 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore Jordan Brown was named the May 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week after lighting up the UCLA pitching staff for a .455 average, three home runs, 10 RBI and five runs scored in the three games last week. The left-handed first baseman went 4 for 5 with two HRs and a career-high seven RBI in Saturday's 20-9 win and added his team-leading eighth HR of the season a day later. In six games against UCLA this season Brown went 12 for 25 (.480) with five HRs, 16 RBI, 10 runs scored and 1.125 slugging percentage.
Arizona pitchers are 28-23 with a 5.30 ERA in 460 innings this season ... UA's starting staff is 21-15 with a 5.43 ERA overall this year, while the bullpen has tallied a 7-8 record with 10 saves and a 5.05 ERA ... Opponents are averaging 9.9 hits per game against Wildcat pitchers ... Arizona relievers have allowed 42 of their 102 inherited runners to come around and score (41%).
Meloan Remains Unbeaten
Since taking over Arizona's No. 3 spot in the weekend rotation on April 10, sophomore John Meloan has been nearly unbeatable. The right-hander has been rejuvenated with a 6-0 record as a starting pitcher this season and has gone six or more innings in all seven starts. He has twice helped Arizona avoid conference series sweeps and has failed to earn a win in just one start (at Washington, April 30).
Meloan's Starting Numbers vs. Bullpen Numbers in 2004Stat Starts Bullpen SeasonGames 7 7 14Record 6-0 1-0 7-0ERA 3.93 9.90 4.88IP 52.2 10.0 62.2H 53 15 68R 25 12 37ER 23 11 34BB 17 8 25K 45 7 52
Meloan's Career Starting Numbers (2003 and 2004)9 GS, 7-0, 3.61 ERA, 62.1 IP, 46 H, 28 R, 25 ER, 22 BB, 50 K
Big John's Two-Hitter
It was only a matter of time before the Wildcats got a complete-game victory this season. With four losses in complete games through the first 45 games of the year (see note below), sophomore John Meloan finally broke through with a CG win. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went the distance at UCLA on May 9th and did so in convincing fashion. Meloan struck out six, walked just two on 99 pitches. At one point, he retired 18-straight Bruin batters from the end of the first inning through the first out in the seventh. The only two hits he gave up were solo home runs, but the offense supported him with four homers of it own and nine runs to make the issue a non-factor .
Complete Games - A Losing Proposition For UA
Prior to John Meloan's complete game victory at UCLA on May 9, Arizona starters Koley Kolberg (UC Irvine, Long Beach St., Washington ) and Kevin Guyette (UCLA) tossed at least one complete game apiece... and lost. While none of the four complete game losses were dominating performances by the two Wildcat arms, all four gave Arizona an opportunity to win. Kolberg and Guyette have an 0-4 record in their complete game efforts, combined for 3.97 ERA, struck out 25, walked just 12 and limited opponents to a .265 batting average when going all nine. The Wildcat offense certainly did not help either's case for a win in the situation. The Arizona bats produced just a .156 average (19 for 122) with one extra base hit and just five runs in support of Kolberg and Guyette in the four games.
Going the Distance
The four complete game losses mark the first time since Shawn Barrington in 1996 that a UA pitcher has worked all nine innings and been saddled with a loss. Barrington was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision at UCLA nine years ago. Former Wildcat Richie Gardner went the distance twice last season without recording a win, but he also did not earn a decision in either contest as both games carried over into extra innings.
Koley's Among The Pac-10 Best
Junior Koley Kolberg ranks among the top pitchers in the Pac-10 in a number of statistical categories. Heading into the week of play as the leader in innings pitched (114.2), the right-hander is third in strikeouts (104), second in games started (17) and tied for seventh in wins (7).
Koley Kolberg - March 2 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Junior right-hander Koley Kolberg was named the Feb. 24-March 2 conference pitcher of the week after limiting Baylor to just one unearned run on three hits in UA's 2-1 victory over the Bears in Waco. Kolberg picked up his first win of the season with eight Ks in seven innings pitched. Earlier in the week, Kolberg entered Arizona's 4-0 loss to Arizona State with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth inning and struck out ASU's No. 3 and 4 hitters to keep the Devils from extending their lead.
Scott Burns - May 4 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Fifth year senior Scott Burns was named the conference pitcher of the week on May 4 after his outstanding performance at Cal. The right-hander picked up two saves in five innings of work. Cal collected just one hit (.063 average) while striking out four times against him. In Sunday's series clinching win, Burns entered the game with the bases loaded and the Wildcats clinging to a one-run lead. He got out of the inning with a liner to short to preserve the Arizona advantage. Burns, who entered the 2004 season with just 12 career innings pitched, earned his first two career saves.
Head Coach Andy Lopez
Entering his third season with the Wildcats, Andy Lopez has already made a huge impact in revitalizing the program. In two-plus seasons he has put together an 94-70-1 (.572) record at UA, led the Wildcats to their first postseason appearance since 1999 and tallied a pair of top 10 recruiting classes. One of only eight coaches in Division I history to lead two different schools to the College World Series, Lopez is on track to join the select group of skippers to take three clubs to Omaha. Currently only Larry Cochelle (Oral Roberts, Cal State Fullerton, Oklahoma) and Ron Polk (Georgia Southern, Mississippi State, Georgia) can make a claim of that feat.
Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium
On January 24 of this year, the Arizona athletics department rededicated it baseball facility to honor the two winningest coaches in school history. Jerry Kindall and Frank Sancet combined to win 1,691 games, three national titles and advance to 14 College World Series appearances. The rededication of the field was held in conjunction with the Jim Click Alumni Weekend that featured a golf tournament, dinner and the annual alumni game. Formerly know as Frank Sancet Field, the facility will now be known as Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium.
More Than Just A Name Change
In addition to a change in title, the baseball facility also continued its gradual facelift during the off-season. Recently completed projects include a brick facade around the outside of the ticket office and grandstand, as well as a new wooden outfield fence. The new wall in the outfield comes in at 12 feet high from the foul lines, before dipping down to eight feet across center field. The playing dimensions of the field will remain the same.